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Virginia car accident whiplash injuryWhiplash in Car Accidents

Whiplash injuries are among the most common kinds of injuries suffered by those who have been injured in car accidents. Despite being so common, they are very, very misunderstood. If you have been involved in a car accident, and have gotten whiplash, you may have a claim for your injuries. You need to speak to a Virginia car accident attorney today who can help fight the insurance companies to get you the compensation that you are entitled to.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a kind of spinal cord injury. Whiplash occurs when, in a rear end accident, a seat belted individual has their torso held against the seat by the restraint mechanism of the seat belt, but the head and neck still fly forward with the force of the rear end impact. When the head and neck have gone as far forward as they can, they often then fly back. Sometimes when this happens, the head will also hit the seat rest, behind. This description, of course, only applies to impacts from the rear. It is also possible for whiplash injuries to occur from side strikes, in very similar manner: the neck and head are pushed to one side or the other.

This rapid forced movement injures the tissues of the neck, specifically muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It is also important to remember that the neck is actually the very top of the spine, known as the cervical spine.

Insurance companies refer to whiplash as a “soft tissue injury,” which is their way of minimizing the injuries that you have sustained.

After an accident, the symptoms of a whiplash injury are not always evident. Many people involved in car accidents receive a dump of adrenaline and other chemicals in their bodies, which can lessen the pain that is felt immediately after. Sometimes, people do not begin to experience the pain and discomfort for 24 to 48 hours after the accident. Some common symptoms include:

  • Stiffness of the neck,

  • Numbness,

  • Pins and needles or tingling in fingers or hands,

  • Pain when moving the head in normal ways,

  • Headaches, often which I feel like they start at the very top of the spine, and base of the skull,

  • Dizziness,

  • Fatigue,

  • Difficulty sleeping,

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after a car accident, it is important that you get these symptoms evaluated by a medical doctor. If the pain is severe, you should go to a hospital immediately! You also have the option of going to an urgent care clinic, or getting an appointment with your primary care doctor. However, if your medical appointment is going to be a couple of days or even weeks later, you need to get in to see a doctor right away. Do not wait! If that means going to an urgent care center instead of your family doctor, then you should do that immediately.

Treatment of Whiplash Injuries

Treatment varies from person to person, and from treating doctor to treating doctor. A competent physician will oversee your treatment, and may refer you to a chiropractor, or physical therapist. Other treatment can include prescribing pain medication, muscle relaxers, or even steroid injections. This treatment will usually follow an evaluation, and sometimes imaging studies to see what has happened. The most common imaging study is an X-ray, but an X-ray often only shows the condition of bones, not the surrounding musculature and tissue. Some doctors will order CT scans, or MRI's.

Often, we find that people who have been in car accidents ask us what treatment they should get. That is not a question that we, as attorneys, can answer. Just as a doctor cannot give you legal advice, a lawyer cannot give you medical advice - however, we can tell you how medical treatment can be claimed, and what effect that medical treatment may have on your case, and vice versa. You should consult with your physician to determine what treatment is right for you, to get you back to your baseline.

Who is responsible for whiplash injuries in Virginia Car Accidents?

Who is responsible is determined by who we can prove is negligent. In a rear end collisions, more often than not the person who has struck your vehicle from the rear is the person who is negligent. That person was negligent by failing to stop in time, failing to pay full time and attention to the roadway, or otherwise failing to obey the rules of the road, etc. Some intersection accidents occur when another driver negligently fails to stop at a red light, or a stop sign.

It is our job as Virginia whiplash lawyers to investigate your claim, and investigate the facts of the accident. We figure out who is involved, and how we can prove that person is negligent. We develop evidence to make your claim as strong as possible.

Compensation for Virginia Whiplash Injuries

If you have an injured as the result of a car accident that caused you to suffer from whiplash, you may be entitled to make a claim for the injuries and other damages that you have sustained. Your injury claim includes several parts:

  • Medical treatment. Any medical treatment that you have received for your injuries forms part of your claim. This includes hospital bills, imaging studies, radiologists, ambulance transport, physical therapy, medication, and more.

  • Lost wages. If your injuries, and/or the treatment for those injuries, have kept you out of work, you may have a claim for the time that you have lost from work. This includes a claim for any sick leave or vacation days that you may have used.

  • Pain and suffering. This is a broad term that for which there is not bright line test. There is no law book that says a whiplash injury is worth $2,000, and a broken arm is worth $10,000. Injuries, and the pain and suffering that results, are determined by a judge or a jury, depending on the court. A skilled car accident lawyer will be able to develop evidence that will show the court just how you have been hurt, and how those injuries have impacted your daily life.

Going to Court for Whiplash Injuries

Most car accident cases will ultimately be settled. Statistically, over 80% of the cases in our office will settle before having to go to trial. This is because of the Blaszkow Legal Method that we employ in every client's case. It is designed to prepare a case for trial from the moment our client walks into our office. We do not push your claim through some standardized factory-like process, and then scramble to prove your case if the insurance company denies the claim later on. Whether the accident is modest or severe, we are going to begin investigating it immediately. This is our method, and the insurance companies know that.

If we do have to go to court, and your claim is $50,000 or under, that suit will be filed in the General District Court. If your claim is over $50,000, then the lawsuit will be filed in the Circuit Court.

Call a Virginia Whiplash Lawyer

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you need guidance from an attorney. The insurance companies have adjusters and defense lawyers getting to work on your claim before you even file it. You need an experienced and aggressive car accident lawyer to help you from day one, to make sure that you are fully compensated for the injuries that another person's negligence caused.

Get Justice with Joe, and call Blaszkow Legal, PLLC today 703-879-5910

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